One of the places I love to check out here on the North Shore of Boston boasts a great selection of piles of old stuff. The only problem: at least a third of this stuff is outside, in all kinds of weather. Just like the fabled mailman — in rain, sleet or snow — except these antique pieces aren’t wearing government-issued rain gear and are left to fend for themselves in the New England precipitation, deteriorating more in just a few weeks than in all their previous hundred years. I’ve seen some really great pieces slowly fall to bits outside the store, the price too steep to justify the purchase — and by the time the price comes down, the piece is in such terrible condition that no one bothers.
Still, I go to this store, because, in spite of its overpriced stock and poor approach to inventory management, it represents what junking is all about. An old building filled with old stuff, with just enough room for customers to poke around aisle by aisle, hoping to spy something interesting at least, desirable at best. Continue reading